N.C. Budgets Slight Increase in Spending for K-12 Schools
The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2007 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
In the waning months of his second term, Gov. Michael F. Easley has signed a $21.4 billion state budget that includes $7.8 billion for public education for fiscal 2009, up about 1 percent from the previous year.
While teachers will receive a 3 percent salary increase, for the first time in more than a decade their full bonuses are not ensured. The state’s accountability incentive program had awarded $1,500 each year to every teacher in schools that met or exceeded student achievement expectations. The new budget allows some $90 million for bonuses this fiscal year, an increase over the previous year, but still short of the $107 million officials say will be needed.
The budget also includes $15 million for dropout prevention, and $30 million to expand a preschool program that serves disadvantaged 4-year-olds. But lawmakers killed a proposed $3.3 million in funding for the state’s troubled writing assessment program.
North Carolina’s school system will receive $405 million from lottery proceeds for such uses as class-size reduction, pre-K program, school construction, and college scholarships.
Vol. 27, Issue 45, Page 14